Are you one of those individuals currently working on creating an online course?
Great, just keep reading!
Does your online course material - or more precisely, your source material - currently consist of one or more lengthy lecture or other videos?
Yes, you should continue with this text!
Would you like to build your online course in a way other than using one or more lengthy videos and a final exam?
I'll tell you how you can do it.
Define the course goal or value proposition
It all starts with value proposition.
Why are you creating the course?
What should participants be able to do or know after completing the course?
What competencies does the course provide?
Defining the value proposition is important, even if you've been instructed to "simply put those videos in the online learning environment and call it a course".
Watch the video/videos and take notes
Just as if you were attending a lecture and learning a new subject yourself. Write down keywords, bullet lists, insights, questions, and things that require further clarification. The better notes you take, the easier it will be to build the course.
While watching the videos, outline the content of the videos at a subheading level.
Consider the course structure
Some guiding questions for this are:
What topics are covered in the videos?
What subheadings did you come up with for the videos?
Are the videos screen recordings of presentations (if they are, utilize subheadings accordingly)?
Could the course sections be defined differently?
Edit the videos
If, for example, you have two approximately 45-minute lecture videos, edit both videos into segments of approximately 2-10 minutes each, depending on the rhythm and content of the videos. At this stage, strive to keep the learner's experience in mind:
What kind of short segments will support their learning and be concise yet cohesive?
From which segments can you construct micro-content with other material?
If possible and in line with your organization/brand, add an intro and outro to each video segment, as they create a more polished impression for the videos.
Build the course starting from the videos
Now it's time to create the structure of the course in the online learning environment and add the videos as the core content for each subheading or topic area.
Once the videos are in place, think about the learner again. How can you introduce the learner to the entire course in a way that ignites their interest and curiosity and motivates them internally?
Could you use an introductory question, a situation connected to everyday life, an interesting problem, or an instruction to pre-plan the topic being covered in the video with the learner's own work in mind?
Add such engaging elements before each video. Also, make use of your notes!
After the video, provide the learner with a brief summary of the topic covered in the video. The summary can be a bullet list, but it can also be a knowledge test, a reflective question with well-crafted immediate feedback, flashcards, an accordion-style element, or anything else you can think of - as long as it supports the fulfillment of the course's value proposition.
Before transitioning to the next section/next video, set the stage for what will be covered next for the learner.
Test and request feedback
When the first version of the course is ready, test it yourself as a learner.
Does the course flow smoothly?
Do you feel a sense of interactivity and discussion?
Do you experience aha moments?
Is going through the course enjoyable?
Is there anything you feel is missing?
Remember to test the course on different devices and in different browsers. Make necessary changes.
Next, request feedback from a small group of representatives from your target audience. You can provide a list of guiding questions to the testers, asking them to pay attention to specific aspects, or you can request them to test the course informally.
Publish and remember continuous development and feedback collection
If this is a new way of building an online course based on existing material, inquire with the target audience about their experience with this new approach. Is the learning experience pleasant, smooth, and does it fulfill the value proposition of the course?
Also, remember to act based on feedback and already adopt the mindset that an online course is never complete; there is always room for improvement, changes, and innovation.